A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff
Publication date: June 6
e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)
–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Military Science Fiction
The second book in the action-packed Peacekeeper series, a continuation of Tanya Huff’s military sci-fi Confederation series following Torin Kerr.
Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. No one who’d ever served with her could imagine any circumstance that would see her walking away from the Corps.
Although the war is over, the fight goes on and the Justice Department finds its regular Wardens unable to deal with violence and the people trained to use it. Ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has a solution: Strike Teams made up of ex-military personnel, small enough to maneuver quickly, able to work together if necessary. Justice has no choice but to implement her idea and Torin puts her team of independent contractors back into uniform. It isn’t war, it is policing, but it often looks much the same.
When the scientists doing a preliminary archaeological dig on a Class Two planet are taken hostage, Torin’s team is sent to free them. The problem of innocents in the line of fire is further complicated by the fact that the mercenaries holding them are a mix of Confederation and Primacy forces, and are looking for a weapon able to destroy the plastic aliens who’d started and maintained the war.
If Torin weren’t already torn by wanting that weapon in play, she also has to contend with the politics of peace that have added members of the Primacy–former enemies–to her team. Before they confront the mercenaries, Torin will have to sift through shifting loyalties as she discovers that the line between”us” and “them” is anything but straight.
I’ve read the first book in this series as well as the Confederation series where the saga of Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr began. Now she’s ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr. Now she’s Warden Kerr and the Confederation is supposed to be at peace.
I love reading about Torin Kerr so I am very excited Huff has begun another series featuring Kerr and her compatriots. Kerr is no longer military. Now she and her team–mostly ex-military–are Wardens for the Justice Department. So even though the Confederation is at peace outbreaks of violence are not uncommon. The Confederation has the problem most governments have when they’ve been at war for years: a huge military is no longer needed so what happens to all the retired soldiers? How do they adapt? And if they can’t adapt what will they do to survive? This is exacerbated in the Confederation, because the three species known as the Younger Races (humans, Krai and di’Taykan) were brought into the Confederation specifically to fight the war for the original members of the Confederation who were too “evolved” to fight their own war. When the war ends with a whimper the Younger Races are unhappy since the Elder Races in the Confederation have always viewed them as too violent to have around. Groups like Humans First formed (they show up in An Ancient Peace–the first book in the Peacekeeper series).
I like that Huff shows Kerr has still not completely adapted to civilian life. She’s still troubled by all the death she’s seen–especially the deaths of her troops. She’s had counselling, she knows she still has problems, but like many soldiers she doesn’t like talking about her feelings or her innermost thoughts or problems. She’s doing better, but still has anger issues.
It is so nice that Huff has brought back a number of characters from the original series. Presit is one of my favorites. As always Presit is her lovable, annoying self. When she first appeared in the books I didn’t like her very much and she’s still annoying especially to Kerr, but she’s a fun character to read about. And she moves things along in the plot. Even though Kerr finds her annoying and doesn’t want the press and noncombatants along, Kerr and Presit have a grudging admiration for each other and like each other more than they admit.
It’s also great to see Craig still hanging in there with Kerr. He has his own problems he’s had to deal with. As a former civilian salvage operator he’s used to operating alone on a spaceship where he doesn’t see or interact with anyone for months at a time and no one invades his personal space. At one time he couldn’t tolerate anyone in his ship with him so he’s come a long way now that he’s a Warden and pilot of their ship. He is a counterpoint to Kerr’s military outlook. It is great to see both points-of-view.
I really like some of the Primacy forces who were the enemy in the original series–especially Firiv’vrak and Vertic–and hope we will see more of them in the future. Huff always does a good job making even the strangest sounding alien believable.
If you haven’t read any of the books in either the Confederation series (books 1 through 5) and the Peacekeeper series (books 1 and 2) you could start with the Peacekeeper series, but don’t forego the pleasure of reading the Confederation series. So many adventures and so many twists plus the truth of war. Such good books!
My rating: B+